The hospital has a multi-faith chaplaincy department to help meet the needs of the major faiths and the chaplains provide a 24 hour emergency on-call system for Christians, Muslims and Hindus. The department is only able to provide services on the hospital site, where there is a chapel for Christians, a mosque with wudu for Muslims and a temple for Hindus.  These are the main faith groups in the area however staff will do their best to meet any individual faith needs.

Bolton Chaplaincy has been developing over the last 25 years with the gradual integration of several denominational and faith chaplains into a united single team, each member having their own area of faith-authorisation and skills.  The team links in very closely with medical and nursing teams, particularly with respect to palliative care, end-of-life care and the bereavement and donor team.

The patients benefit from regular input from the team at a level appropriate to each person, and by linking them to external faith groups at discharge where requested.  All religious and spiritual care is centred on individuals, supporting and encouraging patients and carers to come to terms with their situations.

Religious care is the administration and participation in the religious rituals appropriate to the individual.  This is conducted by a properly authorised person from the faith community from which the person comes.  Religious care can be a component of spiritual care.

Spiritual Care is broader in scope and can be appropriate to everyone, regardless of whether they belong to a faith community or not.  Spiritual care is the exploration of the meaning and purpose of a person’s life in order to help them establish both their present position with respect to their mental, emotional and physical situation and to explore other pathways which may lead to a better situation with which they can cope.

Proper provision of necessary religious or cultural needs can affect the rate or nature of a patient’s recovery. Chaplains work with the Trust to address religious or cultural issues which might impact on the working environment, patient diet or other requirements including prayer or rituals surrounding death and bereavement.

Bolton is regarded among the chaplaincy community as a “flagship” chaplaincy because of its integrated multi-faith approach, data collection knowledge of chaplaincy and spiritual care and constant development of service to patients and staff. A new Spiritual Care Policy has been written and is reviewed annually to ensure it meets lastest developments.

More information is available to patients in the patient bedside information packs and in pamphlets distributed to places of religion and in the hospital chapel.  These pamphlets contain a short patient satisfaction survey.



Hindu Temple                     Mosque                   Christian Chapel

Sunday Services

Holy Communion (C/E) – 10:30 a.m.

Mass (R/C) – 2:00 p.m.


Contact Us

Chaplains can be contacted for spiritual, religious and cultural information during office hours 7:00a.m. – 5p.m. Monday to Friday and Sunday 7:00am – 12 noon. They can be contacted directly by patients, family, carers or healthcare professionals.

Tel: 01204 390770


When chaplains are not physically in the office there is an answering machine for non-urgent messages.  Urgent contact can be made through the hospital switchboard (01204 390390) who can page the chaplains.


There is an out of hours emergency on-call service for patients within the hospital or who have been brought into the Accident and Emergency Department.  This can be accessed through staff in the acute hospital only.



The Chaplaincy Team

The Head of Chaplaincy is the Revd. Neville Markham and there are a number of part time chaplains and volunteers from several Christian denominations and other faith groups. Nev is Methodist by tradition and has been at Bolton as a part time Chaplain 2005 – 2012, Deputy 2012 – 15 and became Head Chaplain in April 2015. He has also been a volunteer chaplain at two hospices in the past.


There is a whole time Deputy Revd Catherine Binns C of E by tradition (who is also a registered nurse). Catherine joined as Deputy Head August 2015 after nursing for 21 years as a specialist neonatal nurse.


The Muslim Lead is Moulana Q’ari Faruk Ali and his interest is also interfaith work.  He is a well respected leader in the town and the teacher of most of the Imams in the area. He is the Chairman of the Bolton Inter-faith Council, chaplain to Bolton University and Manchester Airport, and governor at a local school. He is also a court interpreter for cases involving non-English speaking defendants.  He speaks English, Gujerati, Urdu, Hindi and Arabic.




The Hindu Lead is Pujari Kamlesh Bhatt who is a well respected Hindu priest in the local community.


Service Background and Developments

Chaplaincy, the religious and spiritual care of patients, carers and staff, has been part of the NHS since its inception in 1949.  It is a requirement that the NHS provide religious and spiritual care for patients, carers and staff.

In the last 30 years there have been wide-ranging developments within the profession with the development of national standards for spiritual care, the development of multi and inter-faith departments and greater integration with multi-disciplinary teams. For acute trusts the UK Board for Hospital Chaplaincy is the professional body for chaplaincies, defining standards and codes of conduct.  Most chaplains at Bolton are “board registered” chaplains.  In order to maintain their accreditation chaplains must provide evidence of continued professional development.

Bolton chaplains are part of the Religious and Spiritual Care subgroup of the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cancer Network.  One of the chaplains who is also a film maker, has produced award winning short films using humour to increase awareness of issues around dying and death.  These are called “Dying for a Laugh” and “Last Laugh”.

Chaplaincies have also developed staff support resources for individuals, departments and divisions.  These contribute to staff health and wellbeing, affecting both morale and sickness rates in positive terms.  The departmental or corporate input sometimes involves remembrance services for staff who have died, or recognition services such as the nurses service each year.

The chaplaincy team have provided non-religious meditation sessions and awareness sessions at lunchtime and during departmental training sessions.  These sessions are largely aimed at stress reduction for the individual and in the workplace leading to increased efficiency and reduction in health related absence.

The department has also purchased a Ulysses Computer Module for recording religious and spiritual care input to patients and staff.  This will allow the audit of activity and draw out themes of religious and spiritual need in order to develop the department for future efficient use.

The department continues to be involved with faith communities to identify and develop patterns of care appropriate to the needs of those faith groups.